Blog Home » Breastfeeding a Baby with Tongue-Tie or Lip-Tie

Breastfeeding a Baby with Tongue-Tie or Lip-Tie

For some mothers, breast feeding is a painful and frustrating experience. Despite a breastfeeding mother’s best attempt to correctly position and breastfeed her baby effectively, some mothers find themselves with breastfeeding problems (including nipple damage, plugged ducts, mastitis and low milk supply). Sometimes the infant displays the issue by gaining weight poorly, clicking sounds or gagging and choking while feeding.

Tongue tie, which is also known as ankyloglossia, can cause many of these nursing problems. Tongue tie is due to a short frenulum (the membrane under the tongue) where a baby’s tongue does not have enough movement to obtain a full latch onto the breast, maintain the latch, or suck/swallow effectively. Some infants have a tight membrane attaching their upper lip to their upper gums, which is known as a lip tie. These babies can have difficulty flanging their lips properly to create a proper seal to latch.

Unfortunately, some practitioners do not correctly identify tongue tie as the cause of so many nursing difficulties despite the growing research that demonstrates tongue tie can have a negative impact on a mother/child breastfeeding relationship.

Roughly five percent of babies are tongue tied and sometimes the trait runs in families; therefore, if you have one baby with the issue, you could have more.

For those infants that are truly tied, the solution is a procedure referred to as a frenotomy, which is a relatively painless, in-office procedure, where the tight frenulum is released.  This release allows for improved range of motion of the tongue.

This procedure at Kitsap Kid’s Dentistry, takes less than a few minutes utilizing a laser which allows the baby to be placed immediately back into his/her mother’s arms with the goal of latching the baby onto the breast instantaneously.  In most cases, the mother notices an immediate improvement in both her comfort level and the baby’s ability to nurse more efficiently! Our team members’ mission is to support both mother and child in maintaining a quality breastfeeding relationship.

Please contact our office with any questions on how we might help serve your family’s needs at (360) 698-3242 or at info@kitsapkidsdentistry.com.


Leave a Reply